Neutropenia

Defined as a neutrophil count <2.0 x 109/L. The risk of infective complications is closely related to the absolute neutrophil count. More severe when neutropenia is due to impaired production from chemotherapy or marrow failure rather than to peripheral destruction or maturation arrest where there is often a cellular marrow with early neutrophil precursors and normal monocyte counts. Type of infection determined by the degree and duration of neutropenia. Ongoing chemotherapy further increases the risk of serious bacterial and fungal opportunistic infection and the presence of an indwelling intravenous catheter increases the incidence of infection with coagulase-negative staphylococci and other skin commensals. Patients with chronic immune neutropenia may develop recurrent stomatitis, gingivitis, oral ulceration, sinusitis and peri-anal infection.

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